Monday, March 29, 2010

Started Off With a Bang

and closed with a torrential rainstorm! Oh my, how it poured on our drive home from Lake Wales, enough so that I had to pull off the road for a bit, hoping it would slow down. Not happening friends!

First off, I hope you like the new layout--clean and fresh.

Because of Bruce's awful schedule we did not set up the show on Friday night, instead opting to get up early and head over in the dark. Seriously, it wasn't a bad drive at all, a little over 50 miles all on highways. It took around an hour, which truth be told, it takes me about half that sometimes to get to shows in town. I had a lovely spot right on the lake with the added bonus of being able to park our car right behind the booth on the other side of a large bike path. Perfect start to a perfect day. Here's what it looked like as the sun was coming up:

Working against the clock, we finished setting up with only minutes to spare. Before Bruce left to head home, I went to use the restroom. Walking back toward my booth, I saw a woman with a bag in hand that looked just like mine. Guess what? It was my bag. Bruce already made a sale minutes after the show started. This felt like a very good omen to me. Although he hated to leave me on my own, his workload demanded he do so. From then on I was inundated with both buyers and lookers, only finding time to eat the pizza slices I'd brought from home around 2. By the time I left a little after 5, I'd sold 50 pieces which I thought was a record. Lots of them were small purchases but they do add up. Predictably I sold some of the same stuff I always sell, but there were other images who found first time homes. That first buyer came back a little later wanting to trade the one she'd bought for two others and purchased what we call a baby canvas as well. She mentioned how lovely my husband was which always makes me happy. The weather was picture perfect the entire day--nary a cloud in the sky, cool breeze, and mild temperatures. Arriving home a little after 6, I was tired, but in a good way, even having enough energy to prepare a little supper before collapsing in bed.

Although I'd seen reports that rain was in the forecast, I was hoping it would hold off. Well, it did hold off pretty much until after we packed up, but not by much. Sunday morning I left the house a little after 8, arriving in time to open up the tent. That is one of the things that takes so long setting up a show, attaching all four outside walls. I won't go into how complicated it all is, but it definitely makes things harder. Anyway, this time Bruce put the zipper in the back, which was new to us, but something we'll adopt in the future. Very good. The wind was so strong, however, that I had to re-zip it to keep things from blowing around. That action did little to keep the dirt out, which blew off the ground onto everything in its' path. My little table in the back that I use for transactions was covered with dirt all day long. It's a darn good thing the prints are all in plastic is all I can say. Early on people were discussing closing due to said winds and expected rains.

This is where things get difficult for organizers of events like this. On the one hand, they want to protect the artist's work, on the other hand, they have to respect the people who've driven a ways to attend the show. The bottom line is that they closed the show at 2:00. I'd called Bruce earlier, telling him things were looking iffy and he should probably come by 3. I forgot to re-phone him until after 2, at which point, the weather was rapidly deteriorating. Fortunately he was on his way. By the time he arrived it was pretty much empty, enabling him to park right in front of the booth. Flanked by two vehicles, working together, we got it done. Did I mention Baxter came along for a Sunday drive with Bruce? Did I mention he was perfect?

When we left it looked like this:Don't let that picture fool you, it was only the beginning of the deluge. Look closely on the right and you'll see the road sign advertising the show!

I'm not too keen on driving when I can't see, however, I had no choice as the rain continued for the entire drive. Barely getting over 50mph any of the way it took us much longer than we'd have liked. The good news is we both arrived home safely about the time we'd have been closing the show. Wait--did I say we both? I left out Baxter's safe arrival. Shame on me!

Lest you think Sunday was a bust, although nothing like Saturday, I managed to sell 17 more things including a canvas. I'd expected things to be slow in the morning because of Palm Sunday, and they were; add iffy weather and you've got an equation that is not great for an artist. Once we'd completed our loading I noticed a tent still standing with a woman calmly sitting inside. I went over to chat a minute and she said she COULD NOT WAIT TO GET OUT OF FLORIDA! She and her husband travel the show circuit, staying mostly in Florida during the winter. They live in Ohio so you can see why! Anyway, she complained bitterly about the early closing, as well as the horrible winter we've had (still better than Ohio I imagine). What can you do? I checked the paper and this month we've had more than double our usual amount of rain; I only wish all that rain would be during the week!

One thing you've probably already guessed is that there are always lots of photographers at a show. This one had sixteen including me. That is a lot of competition, mostly with people far more experienced than I, not to mention those who have a following. As well, when I began this journey, Bill suggested I would have to learn Photoshop, which I've yet to do. Most of my competition are masters at the game, taking from one picture something they like and moving it into another, creating something entirely new. I just can't bring myself to do that--I love taking the photographs, and coming up with ideas to create something, I just don't find editing exciting. So now you know just how lucky I am to have the sales that I do. I'm very, very grateful.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winding Down

Despite the fact that I've been shopping like a mad woman (for what seems like forever), I'm not really that keen on it. I suppose I could have let Jo talk me into all sorts of things from EA, however, it would have cost a fortune which goes against my grain--thus, I shopped. Normally I describe myself as frugal, yet just yesterday I realized what I really am is thrifty. I like that word, don't you? No wonder I like thrift shops so much! Mostly what I like to do is not spend more than is prudent. Thrifty, frugal, prudent--yikes where is this leading????

Here's where it's leading.....because the table is no longer under the chandelier, and to put one over the table may prove difficult, I'd decided on two lamps for the buffet flanking the vertically hung mirror. On Tuesday after the Polasek (surprisingly busy), I headed to Marshalls etc. on that side of town. Bringing home two lamps, I tested them out on Bruce. One was very funky, lucite balls for the stand with a brilliant orange shade. Cute. Bruce was not convinced. Because I have so many straight lines I thought the balls would not only be a nice contrast to the brick shaped wall, but a reflective surface as well. Sadly, I'd not thought of the two lamp option at that point, purchasing only one. This, my friends, led me on a chase for a second one, only at the opposite end of town. I was trying to combine some returns with a new purchase, but it was not to be. Or, it could have been, except I was having trouble convincing myself to drive back across town yet again. Which then led me to stop about midway at Lightstyles on Lake Ivanhoe. I think I've found my lamp, yes, only one, however they assured me they can order a second. The aforementioned lamp unfortunately costs three times as much as the Tuesday lamp. Clever readers that you are have realized that if I'd been frugal, I'd have just kept driving. Thrifty is what I am. Now, if only I'd found some used ones....

Before beginning the shopping marathon , Richard, the upholsterer came to the house, picking up one of the chairs to begin the transformation. According to this site Wise Geek, what I unknowingly purchased were slipper chairs. Now, don't you just love that name? I now am the proud owner of not only the "Groovy Chair", which has been in my office now for several years (now moved to LR), but two "Slipper Chairs." Cool names for things always pleases me. I think we're going to be pleased with the results.

While chatting with Mr. Richard, I asked him what sort of sewing machine he used. His answer: a 1910 Singer. Count me surprised. Because of all this busyness I'd not had time to unpack the little Singer I'd brought home from Mom Peck's house. Here it is:It smells quite musty but I suspect it runs like a champ. Plugging it in, I clicked on the light, and it worked perfectly. All sorts of presser feet are included, as well as an old-fashioned buttonholer. The last time I remember using a Singer machine was way back in 8th grade Home Ec class when the teacher told me I'd never learn to sew. I'm not sure if she was challenging me or what, but obviously she did not know what she was talking about. I digress....The manual, copyrighted 1941 is in excellent shape, with only a few pages unbound. While I ate my supper last evening I read the instructions realizing how little sewing has changed in many, many years. Sure, there are high tech machines now, but basically they all run pretty much the same. Of course, you knew I couldn't let something like this go by without a little history lesson now didn't you? TaDa! Singer

One task I've yet to complete is hemming the curtains which will have to wait until next week because this weekend I'm heading here:Amazing how they spelled it Lake Wailes which goes to show you that you can't believe everything you read, except for Camera Crazy; you can believe every word I write! This is one of the reasons Bruce just had to stay home last weekend, missing the wedding. My fault. Well, Darden played it's part, but you get my drift. As I type he's back in California, returning around midnight tonight. A new town+new audience+hope=sales? I'm still hovering just in the black this year--maybe this will be my tipping point?

Turns out a younger version of Mr. Peck was also in California this week. Sunday evening Matt flew out to LA for work, meaning he was coast to coast--literally. Sunday before we left Treasure Island, we walked on the beach for a bit. Blustery, gray, and chilly, it was beautiful in a different sort of way. Sand between your toes is a great feeling when it's not roasting hot, even more so on the beautiful Gulf shore.
Next stop for Matthew--the Pacific. I should have told him the story of when we moved out there in 1977. I remember my first time seeing the Pacific ocean with Matt on my hip. When I put his little baby feet down into the water he climbed back up me like a monkey climbing a tree! Man, was it cold, even in August!

While he was here we made time to visit with Liza and her adorable new baby:
Ever since she was born in mid-January, Matt had been looking forward to seeing his best friend's little girl; we were not disappointed. Delightful in every way, her wake up stretching was particularly precious.

A picture perfect day in Orlando is calling me outdoors to enjoy it just now...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It may not have taken a village to remodel our home, but it took a bunch of us!

First among the helpers was our Ethan Allen lady who gave me some great ideas to work with. I'm certain without her help, you'd be looking at carpet because it never occurred to me to use the pavers. My golly, they are beautiful! There was nothing fun about the week of mess, but as Lisa kept reminding me, it would all be worth it. I fully intended to purchase something from EA when I went into the store asking for help, however, to date, nothing has come from there. Aside from the two chairs, a little table, and the new media cabinet, we are using what we had, albeit in updated fabrics. Additionally she suggested I put the curtains aside the french doors, another great idea that I'd never thought of. I love how it pulls the whole room together.

The tiling guys were awesome, keeping things as neat as possible with a spectacular finished product. They were proud of themselves as they should be. A little history on the tile boxes describes how sometimes there are animal prints in the tiles because after forming them they bake in the sun. Occasionally animals walk through leaving their mark. We are the proud owners of two such tiles strategically placed for maximum viewing! Very fun.

Timing was on our side as well. Matt changed his arrival time to 6:30 on Wednesday evening. The guys finished grouting around 7:30 and said the grout sets up immediately. You know Matt, he loves a project, and if you need someone to help you with same, you could not do better than Matt. We began moving the furniture to the spaces you'd seen previously, however, Matt was not happy with the sofa in front of the door, suggesting we make a second seating area on the other side of the room. Wow, wow, wow! Perfect! So there was yet another partner. If you can imagine I stayed up until 1:00 that night because I was so excited. Another thing he's amazing at is vignettes. Creating little treats for the eye comes naturally to him as you've probably seen in the past. I've no shame in taking advantage of his skills!

I've got to thank the guy at "Something Different", the store where I purchased the chairs. He mentioned that a fabric store near Florida Mall carried cool fabric and indeed they did. In the past I'd seen the place, but thought it was junky. Not so. One of the rugs came from there, the drapery rods, as well as all of the fabrics. I can't wait to see my orange zebra stripe on that antique chair! As well, he gave me the name of an upholsterer who has yet to work for me, but he comes highly regarded.

Bruce. Where would we be without him? He took the red eye home from California, arriving around 9 on Friday morning. Immediately he went to work cutting off the bottoms of SIX doors! Let me tell you those french doors are heavy, heavy, heavy. Next he put up three rods, only collapsing for a little nap mid-afternoon. I may not have told you about the media cabinet I got for $30 at my local thrift store. I was there donating things when I saw it. Because I donate so much, the man said I could have it for the aforementioned $30, instead of the $75 price tag. I have to thank David for coming over and helping me get it in the house during the rain three weeks ago. I don't know what I was thinking, when I told them I'd take it home in the Element. Although it fit fine, once home, I realized it had to come out. Fortunately Dave is a strong man, carrying most of the weight as we got it just inside the door. After Bruce spray painted it a gorgeous satin brown espresso color, it not only looks fantastic, but it's keeping some of my clutter out of sight. Unintentionally I hurt Bruce's feelings when I asked him why he was cutting a hole in the back. Duh!!! For all the cord clutter Gail...

Marhsalls, Ross, and TJMaxx played their part as well, but you knew that already, didn't you? Great lamp find at Marshalls!

So, if you haven't peeked already, here it is:

Not completely done, but we're getting there. I'm hoping we'll have our first dinner party for Bill and Dave's 31st birthday which is just around the corner.

Just prior to Matt's leave taking on Sunday, the table was in use for a game of Scrabble. I took a thrashing.

Polasek time my time for editing if you'll forgive me...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The End is in Sight

While taking Baxter for a walk this morning I decided to try out my pinhole setting on the camera with this retro look the result:
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Handy to Know">Hopefully you'll learn something here you didn't know before.

As the title suggests, we are heading towards the finish line on the tile placement; although it is 6:30, they are still working on finishing the hall bathroom. After arriving in the morning they will finish the steps into the sunroom and grout the tile and we're ready to go. If all goes according to plan, by midday they will be done. Can I just tell you how excited I am? Everyone who has seen it is very complimentary. As well I'd like to mention that Baxter has not much approved of the process. Eating practically nothing for the last two days, he's moping because there is only the "Groovy" chair in my office for him to lounge in.

Yesterday's post got so messed up and I didn't have the heart to fix it, so in addition to what I said yesterday, I'm here to relate what Bruce's schedule has been like, further making the case that he is a "Superman."

Leaving a week ago Monday, he traveled to Connecticut and California in three days, one night getting only three hours of sleep. His plane landed on Wednesday night around midnight, he drove home, collapsed beside me, and was up and at his office for meetings by 8. After the meetings, he dropped off his car at the dealership for an inspection, drove back to International Drive to join his comrades at a post meeting dinner and arrived home at 9. So that was Thursday. Arriving at the office at 7:30 in time for meetings again, he finally got to his desk after lunch to answer hundreds of emails. Then off the dealership once again to return the loaner, sign all the papers to buy his BMW, home at 7, moving furniture until 9, bedtime, and then it was Saturday. He packed my car, set me up, and returned home around 10 to let the men in. He then covered everything with plastic for the tile removal. The young men pictured above each used a jack hammer to remove not only the kitchen/foyer tile, but the bathroom as well. Turns out under the kitchen tile, three layers of vinyl resided comfortably. The bathroom floor revealed two layers of tile on top of the original tile. Once I heard that, I tried to imagine each home owner thinking what they were putting down was spectacular. The house is having it's 50th birthday this year and I'm thinking of having a party to celebrate all that's happened in this house over those 50 years. But I digress......

So I mentioned yesterday that he sold the piano amidst all the activity on Saturday. Once the demolition was complete, he wiped everything down so that when I got home you could find NO evidence of the earlier chaos. Of course, he then had to come and get me at 5 to close things down. Packing the vehicle we made our way home. I think it got cut off of yesterday's installment, but I did have a good show. Lisa was kind enough to assist with the sales transactions which numbered 26 by the end of the day. Things began slowly but eventually people came, delighting us both.

I picked up Chinese from Publix; Bruce ate at his desk and I ate in a chair in his office space surrounded by all the stacked furniture. Exhausted we both were asleep by 9. Before I forget, he removed the closet doors as well as both sets of french doors, all of the super heavy. And then there's all he did I wasn't here to witness.

Wouldn't you know it--daylight savings time forced us to "spring forward!" Once at the market by 7:30, he was confronted by a huge puddle from the rains earlier in the week. While the City guys fooled around looking for just the right hose, Bruce and Larry (popcorn guy across from us), working in tandem, used push brooms to move the water out of the way of setting up. The truth is that it wasn't in our way so much as it was Larrys' but Bruce, being the nice guy he is, didn't feel right leaving it all to Larry. This took much energy and time. By then I'd arrived and began putting the walls up while they pushed and pushed the water. It was with serious trepidation that Bruce left me to finish the set up because I'd not done it alone before, however, I think I did alright if I do say so myself. The tile guys were coming. Some of the photographs I showed yesterday I took just before I left for the market, the others, later in the day.

Meeting the tile guys at home, he began to work on the thresholds. That's the thing about Bruce, he is a detail guy. Furthermore he has more patience than about ten of me put together. As well he moved the cable and lest I forget, when we returned on Saturday evening we discovered they'd cut the cable to my office. He got on my computer, changing the settings back to wireless, enabling me to do my charges for the day. Working at a feverish pace so as to return to the market at 4 for the tear down only to discover that Dana had extended the market until 5. Which meant we weren't home until after 6. Aren't you worn out just reading this? And you didn't even have to get on a plane by 6 Monday morning like Bruce! Have I convinced you yet that everyone needs a Bruce?

Angela fed me last night with a lively game of Scrabble following dinner. The combatants, oh wait, I mean the participants, were myself, Angela, her friend Dodi, as well as her thirteen year old son Michael. Not only did I come in last, but I learned a few rules that I'd somehow gotten wrong. Of course, we were playing the British version, but still. I was called a poor sport after complaining about my five vowels, a blank and one consonant. Were they expecting me to keep silent on the matter? It didn't help that I drew the Z on the second to the last round either. It was a pleasant way to spend the evening after the noise and dirt of the day.

I've buried the diary somewhere, but we'll get back to it just as soon as I get organized. What I've learned from this is that there is no way I could be productive in a messy house. Remember that show, Clean House, or from what I've heard from the boys (sorry sons, I can't help it), an even worse show, Hoarders? I would be a nut case living like that for sure. By the way, if you click on the Hoarders link you might be sorry.

You're all caught up if you can imagine. By the time Matt arrives late tomorrow evening, I should have things somewhat sorted out. The guys have promised to help me move some of the furniture back, with Angela convinced we can do the rest. Bruce won't be home until late Thursday evening after another trip to California. Oh yes, and then there's the time change......

Monday, March 15, 2010

Everyone Needs a Bruce

Dear Friends,

I'm not sure if it was my friend Sylvie who said it, after watching Bruce expertly working on both wiring a canvas, and taking my booth down, or someone else, but whomever said it was right.

As you already know, Bruce has about eight jobs going at once, and somehow he hasn't lost his mind, or for that matter, his sweet spirit. Bad timing on the festival, but with his expert planning we got it all done. Mostly, he did, with me pitching in as best as I could.

Instead of my more typical long-winded posts, I'm using my pictures to tell the story of our home at the moment. I did want to point out that I found two of the great chair pictured, as well as the super fun fabric. With any luck, the upholsterer will begin work on them later this week. They will take the place of the piano, which Bruce also handled, selling it to the tile guy, of all things, on Saturday morning. It took all four men to load it in the van! I'm delighted to report that his daughter has been wanting a piano for the longest time, and according to his thank you email, is thrilled.

Two other reasons I'm not writing much: still worn out from all the pre-tiling activity and the festival, and I find it hard to concentrate while they are working.

So for now, I leave you with this pictorial:



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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

At 17

As it turns out I wasn't a whole lot different at 17 years old than I am at 56 years old. Because the tiling begins tomorrow morning I've been a busy little beaver moving everything out of the living area and off the closet floors. I need not tell you what a huge task this is, however, it's going pretty well. Once again I'm finding things that have been buried away and long forgotten.

A perfect example is my x-ray school file. According to the three page single spaced application, dated 1/21/71, I weighed the same as I do today. The questions they asked are remarkable by today's standards, as the height and weight question demonstrates. I also had to provide all manner of detail about my parents, siblings, hobbies, health, as well as a head shot. Can you imagine? Additionally, I had to provide five personal references, whom they asked to judge my personality, judgment, leadership, honesty, initiative, and dependability. For references I used my high school principal (I babysat his children), Bruce's dad, my typing teacher, the pastor who eventually married us, who, by the way, rated me as average, and Mr. Aubuchon, Maureen's first father in law.

Continuing through the folder contents I found the acceptance letter dated March 5, 1971 along with the letter from my father with the check in the amount of $100 for tuition. Mind you, that was for two years! That said, we were used pretty much as slave labor, working at least forty hours a week with little or not time off. By the time I graduated I completed over 2572 procedures which is a lot of x-rays. Back in the day, as my son David says, there were only two kinds of imaging procedures, x-rays and nuclear medicine. As such, we were expected to be competent performing any one of over 120 different exams. When I look at the lists, which are included in the folder, it brings back some terrifying memories of myself at 17, and 18, working with all kinds of physicians, some whom were not so nice, particularly neurosurgeons. The mother lode was doing a "carotid arteriogram", whereby, the neurosurgeon waltzed into the room, expecting to find everything to his liking. He slipped on a pair of gloves, swabbed the patient's neck with betadine, and went in for the kill. Actually, he used these two part metal (maybe stainless?) needles and plunged them into the carotid artery. The blood pumped out as he was threading the second part in to stop it. He then attached tubing to the needle end which connected to a syringe full of contrast material. READY, SHOOT, FIRE! The patient's head was lying on a special film changer that once he said shoot, we shot, causing large pieces of film to slide from one side of the box to the other. Imagine the times the film got stuck--it was not easily repeated. Forgive me if I'm not making this very clear, suffice it to say, for a very young girl, this was the worst!

Furthermore, we received letter grades for appearance, cooperation, emotional status, determination, loyalty and hygiene, as well as technical and scholastical(their word)marks. Today's students are trained in community colleges and are lucky to do maybe 200 exams prior to graduation. As well, every film we took used a manual technique, whereas today everything is not only shot on an automatic setting, but digital as well. No more waiting, waiting, waiting, to see if the films were good enough. Going through all this reminds me why I get so frustrated with the sorry state of dress in hospitals these days. Dirty shoes, wrinkled clothing, it all makes me not want the person to touch me. I figure if they can't take care of their own things, they are probably not that great at taking care of me!

Speaking of grades here's an excerpt of a comment on one of my student evaluation forms:

"The only problem facing Gail is emotional insecurity and this problem makes her uneasy in school. She seems to feel insecure about staying in school, and feels very depressed about repeating films or making lower grades than A's.

If people made straight A averages, they would obviously not be needing an instructor nor would they benefit from the course as they would already "know it all.

Sound a little familiar to my Valencia days? The truth is that looking over my high school transcripts, I'm more of a B student, so where I got the idea of making straight A's, I don't know.

In media related items, here's a little story and video from NPR you may find amusing:
And then there is a close up of our little gnome with his wagon full of flowers...

Oscar's Corner (sic)

March 10, 1882
I ground the ax this morning then put up some grain to carry to mill after dinner we went out and gathered two barrels and a half of sap then I went over to mill I stopped at home and got some apples for Web

March 11, 1882

We drew out manure on the mud (?) this forenoon Orin Slayier came here I signed two dollars for the minister and fifty cents for the barn in the afternoon I tapped 100 trees in the evening I went down to Patricks

March 12, 1882

I had the sick head ache this morning I did the chores at night alone went out to see how sap run it snowed most all day

It's been raining most all day, both yesterday, and today. If all goes well, it should stop tonight and be a beautiful weekend, which may bode well for your itinerant art exhibitor. Lisa will be on hand to help with sales at Baldwin Park, or at least I hope I'll need her help!

The tiling will take at least four days; chaos will be the norm around here.

Expect blogging delays!
Listening to: Jack PeƱate - Everything Is New
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Let's Get Blogging

That is exactly what I said to Baxter upon waking in the gray morning light. Do you think he cared? Probably not. :)

What really woke me up was a dream I was having. As some of you know, our sister, Carol, is an accomplished artist living in Beverly Hills. For many, many years she's had a fantastic studio in Venice Beach which she'll be closing on Saturday, another victim of the economy. I dreamed she told me not to get mad at her, but she'd soon be selling her photography. Could I be a psychic? If I told her about this dream she'd probably think that is the case!

So what has Mrs. Gail been doing that she's too darn busy to write? Well, a lot.

I'd been thinking of going to the beach in winter, so one morning I awoke at 5, and thought it must be a sign that the day was right. It was bone chilling cold, thus I made a mug of hot tea, dressed as warmly as possible, grabbed my cameras and off I went. Unfortunately, a stop for gas delayed my arrival just long enough for me to miss the sunrise. From the picture in the collage you can see this gentleman was prepared. I will tell you that the drive was wonderful because I got to watch the sky go from indigo, to purple, to pink. And then gold. Such a wonderful experience to watch time change. I pulled up, racing onto the sand with my Panasonic in hand, and this is what I saw. As well, all those gulls were huddled together trying to stay warm I suppose. I got quite close to them without them budging, however eventually one decided to move, and you know how that goes, they all follow! Something on the order of "birds of a feather flock together."

On my way home I picked up more paint. My faithful readers may remember that I've had a de-taupping project going on for almost two years. First it was the kitchen, then the living room, followed by the foyer a year later, and finally I've got the hall 96% done. Only 96% Gail? I lost my nerve around all the door openings, so I quit. Actually the day I did that I also did the soffit above the brick wall which if my memory serves me right has never been painted since we've lived here. Same goes for the hall ceiling which for years had been crying out for a paint job. I didn't have any white paint, so for now, it is painted Captivating Cream. I painted from 10 in the morning until 5 in the evening that day. Boy howdy, I'm not the spring chicken I once was!

Friday is laundry day and what I call house cleaning. Now some would think what I do is laughable as far as cleaning is concerned, however I've never claimed any housekeeping awards. Painting, yes, cleaning, not so much. If Bruce is impressed with the job I did, that's saying a lot.

Friday afternoon Angela and I waited patiently for Jo, from Ethan Allen, to arrive. She was late, and I'm talking on the order of an hour late. Traffic woes coming from Windermere caused her tardiness, but once she arrived we got right down to business. Sort of. Somehow she ended up being here for over three hours! We discussed fabrics, layouts, lighting, the tile job, and who knows what else. Oh yeah--rugs. That's how it happened that she remembered she bought a photograph from me about two years ago at the market! Can you imagine? I knew I liked her right off. As well, on her last visit we discovered that she had done the EXACT same kitchen valance with Crate & Barrel dish towels in her kitchen. I mean even the SAME towels. How did we go from rugs to photography? The rugs my friends. She suggested that once the tile was down we'd want to have rugs immediately so if I was out shopping over the weekend be on the lookout. I told her I was a weekend worker and that's when she realized who I was. She has the print of the the three orange and white daisies on her desk at work! Small world isn't it? Did I tell you her daughter worked with David at Einstein's while they were in high school?

Just as I was leaving on Saturday morning to go to the little market, the tile setter and his wife arrived in a darling little Miata. Bruce handled all of the details. I'm getting just a bit nervous about the whole idea, which is probably natural. They'll be removing the tile in the kitchen, foyer, and hall bathroom, so you can imagine the mess that will be involved. Am I sure I want to go through with it? No, but, how is one ever sure about anything? Seriously, Bruce always tells me the only thing he's sure about is that he has to die and pay taxes. Philosophical guy, isn't he?

The little market was actually pretty good for me for a nice change, as was the weather finally. Actually, it was gorgeous. Around 6, Saturday evening, we drove the Beemer to Maitland to have dinner with our good friends, Jane and Michael who are looking pretty spiffy these days. In the last year, Jane has lost 35 pounds, and Michael, 25. I've always wondered where the pounds actually go, haven't you? I love getting together with them because their home is cozy, and the conversation is always great.

The little love bird in the, what shall I call that, maybe a carrier, belongs to one of my customers, a nice young couple who'd never heard of Georgia O'Keeffe. She bought a print of a red poppy which references Georgia, receiving a gentle education at the same time. Another gorgeous day to be a market vendor. Lots of folks, sunshine, and general good will. People were just so happy to shed their winter coats, although I did start the morning in mine, as the temperature was still in the 40's. Layering was the order of the day.
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I just threw in the radish picture for fun.

And now for the next installments in Oscar's Corner:

March 6, 1882

I got the buckets ready and drew them to the woods then fixed the bridge I went over home and got 110 buckets Jack commenced work for Pa today I drew some plank down from the loft to fix the bridge with

March 7, 1882

I fixed a tunnel to gather sap the cox boy came so as to commence to work tomorrow I went over to the holler to see Web he is very sick with the pneumonia and so is angie I stopped at home and ma gave me a piece of smoked meat

March 8, 1882

Samuel Cox commenced work today for ten dollars per month He worked over home sawing wood Dwight Eastmen came over here and got 3 bushel peas I went out in the woods and tapped 86 trees Sheel Webb called here today

March 9, 1882

I ground an ax this morning then the boy went over to saw wood for pa in the afternoon I went over to the holler they are all better Newell has got a boy

Intrigued yet?

At the moment I'm sure that I have to get ready to head to the Polasek. Hope it won't be quite so long before we meet again, however, having to move everything for the tile job may take a toll on my writing for the moment.
Listening to: Phoenix - Lisztomania
via FoxyTunes

Friday, March 5, 2010

All About Oscar

I'm worn out from painting and thinking for that matter so today it's all about Oscar:

March 4, 1882

I went down to Adams with pa he tried to settle with Maryann but could not I charged my collars and bought a half steak and a martingill (?) A. Parsons stopped to the hay carrier.

March 5, 1882

I have been at home all day I opened the cellar doors to the outside

My life has been a little busier than Oscars, but the narrative will have to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Online or On Paper?

Recently when I told someone that I wrote a blog she asked, "what will happen to it?" At first I didn't understand the question, however, soon enough I realized she was wondering how I would preserve my online diary. Responding that I suppose I could print it out, which in truth seems rather daunting now that I think about it; the answer is I really don't know.

I hadn't thought too much more about that conversation until yesterday while I was reading Oscar Loveland's diary to Sylvie during our time together at the museum. Have I mentioned what a Godsend it is having her there? If not, I've been remiss. She is such an interesting woman, and we get along famously, which according to Karen (the curator) is not the case with all of her receptionists and docents. But I digress....
Sylvie was just as fascinated with the comings and goings of Oscar as I am, or at least she pretended to be. Seriously, as I read the day's entries aloud, she kept butting in, asking who is so and so. Naturally, I can't answer her because really what we are reading is a mystery story in the pages of a simple diary. Who are Pa and Ma? What exactly is the law suit all about, and who are all those people he personally subpoenaed? Why won't Maryanne settle things? Who is the baby, who by March weighs 14 1/2 pounds? How does one store 100 lbs. of flour purchased for $3.50? That's one thing I'm learning--the price of goods and services. He paid Samuel Cox $10 for a month's work, letting him go after the month was over. I'm also learning the rhythms of farm life; we are now into maple syrup season.

Here's what I'm thinking...because I'm learning about Oscar, I thought you might like to as well, so I'm going to post his entry for each day that I blog. For now the writing is not only in pencil on thin paper (changes to ink later in the year), but cramped as well, making it hard to read without extraordinary light. I'll call it Oscar's Corner, so here goes in his exact style:

I went over and got lens colt pa bought it and then went to Adams and got her shod for work I came back and went over home to carry over a letter to len I got two collars $2.50

Reading a diary that is 128 years old is good stuff as you'll soon see. So, I wonder if anyone could possibly be interested in my musings in the year 2138? Probably not.

Now let's get back to the present...

On Monday there was a rare occurrence, or at least of late, of lovely weather. I felt the need to take advantage of the free day at Leu Gardens, forgetting that these days it is a packed house, mostly moms and strollers. They gather in large groups, chatting with each other, while mostly ignoring their little ones except to chide them. This album is not so great I'm afraid, partly because I may have lost my mojo for now, and partly due to the effects of this miserable winter. I've captioned them if you care to look at it large. I did want to direct your attention to one sweet mom and her little boy, interacting with each other, unlike most of the mom groups! I've already ranted to Matt about this, so you've been spared this time.

After eating lunch, I tackled the pool which, as you can see, still has more leaves in it than on some trees, despite having already cleaned them all off the surface before taking this photograph. My gentle readers surely recall how our little dog, although mostly perfect, is not so much while I'm cleaning the pool, racing around the pool, barking like a mad man.
After filling half of a giant garbage can with leaves, I was returning for another go- round with Baxter at my heels. The next thing you know, he's tumbled into the deep end of the pool. Thankfully, I was able to rescue him by grabbing the harness he always wears. I'm here to tell you the water temperature is brutally cold! Here he is trying to dry off.

Fortunately, the sun was shining brightly and before long he warmed right up. You would think that he'd learn his lesson, however, I'm thinking he won't. According to Lisa, the wind speed was 32mph yesterday causing leaves to rain down; he'll have his chance to show what he's learned when the sun decides to make another appearance.

Poor Mr. Bruce! I'm sure I would go mad having to put up with traveling like he does. He always says it's the easiest part of his job which is sort of sad. I suppose travel issues are ones we can relate to--contractor, budget, weather, operations folks, unrealistic schedules, and other problems too numerous to relate--not so much. Leaving the house around 6 for a 7:30 flight to Atlanta, he called me around 2, relating that he was STILL in Atlanta. Numerous flights were canceled due to bad weather. Instead of arriving around 1, it was more like 6pm. A mostly wasted day on travel. On the other hand, Oscar would surely have been blown away if someone told him you could travel from Orlando to Iowa in less than a day, wouldn't he? Perspective, we must always keep that in mind.

More painting in store for today--
Listening to: The Killers - The World We Live In
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Already!

Soon after waking up I walked outside to see how cold it was, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but hundreds and hundreds of birds flying high in the air. Seriously, I kept thinking once there was a little break in the action that the migration was done, but I was wrong. Five full minutes of flying birds is a bunch! Amazing how nature works isn't it? Which reminds me of a wonderful documentary Winged Migration that if you've not seen, you should. Could this be a sign that cold weather will soon be a thing of the past for us here in way-too chilly Orlando?

At least the skies were blue on Sunday unlike gray and gloomy, not to mention rainy, Saturday. Because of the bad weather on Saturday I skipped the small market aside from delivering some note cards to the lovely woman from Illinois who sends notes out every day. Her family is lucky that she still writes as there is nothing quite like getting a card/note in the post.

Thus, I was able to complete the wall painting, however this picture doesn't really show the wall except for the tiniest bit in the corner. What it does show is how Bruce moved all the furniture on Friday night.

Just when I thought he would be taking a power nap prior to dinner, he got moving on the moving. It will definitely be a change having the doors shut, but my, how it opens up our options on furniture placement! I've not met with the designer again, but this gives us an idea how we might like a new configuration, and let me tell you, I love it!

Before our seating was mostly confined to what I'll call the cave. Cave, you ask? The middle of the room was too dark to ever really use it in the daytime aside from television watching, which as you well know, I do very little of. I suspect that's one reason the couches still look practically new after ten years--hardly ever used. It just feels so cozy like this, not to mention, lighter and brighter.

We are kind of back and forth on the flooring. Some folks have wood on the floor, we have it on the ceiling, so having both would probably be overkill. Once upon a time the carpet looked wonderful, however, yours truly dripped a trail of bacon grease from kitchen to sun room, which after several cleanings only looks worse. We looked at carpet, stymied by the choices. The designer suggested we use the same Mexican pavers we have in the sun room, which I thought was a terrific idea. Bruce, on the other hand, is not convinced. So...we are in a bit of a quandary. Knowing Bruce as you do, you know that he'd go along with whatever I want, but knowing me as you do, know that I'm not that kind of gal. It goes without saying--I'll keep you posted on this. (no pun intended!)

That wall was sure hard to paint what with all the nooks and crannies; I used almost 3/4 gallon on the one wall.

I finished the painting just in time to get myself cleaned up for another 50th birthday party. Here is Mr. Bruce and his workmate Jeff at the restaurant.Held in a Mexican restaurant, it was lots of fun, although the free flowing Margaritas were both a good and bad idea. :)

The market was bustling, sales pretty good. The day started chilly (as in the 40's), however, without a cloud in the sky, the sun warmed things up nicely. I sold 19 items, lots of them small, but I'm happy when people like what I do. A lovely woman visiting from Scotland purchased one of the manatee shots, as well as an alligator. Very exotic for their home I imagine. Whenever we see someone in shorts at the market during these chilly days we know they are visiting from the North. Such was the case with another nice couple from New York. Turns out the woman's mother, who was with them, was an old x-ray tech, having earned her license in 1954. We had a fine time talking shop. When Bruce arrived to help pack up he left me be for a bit because he said I had about eight people in the booth. It was only when I sat down to process the credit cards at home that I realized how tired I was. Good tired though.

Following the market, the produce vendors, Amy and Jonathan, brought their trailer to the house to pick up the entertainment center which we were delighted to give them. As you may recall they also have our old dining room furniture. Bruce is taking payment in the form of a piece of roasted corn on the cob each week they have them at the market. For now the television is sitting on a little stand Bruce made from laying the gigantic speakers on their side.

I can hardly imagine that it's March already. When I was writing papers for school they taught me to have a thesis, opening with a bang, supporting evidence, and then a conclusion. If I write "time flies", will it suffice? As in the bird thing?

You Just Never Know